Sunday, 15 May 2011

The Pinoy Who Went Up A Hill And Climb Down A Mountain

The title sounds familiar, I know. I couldn’t help borrowing from Hugh Grant’s 1995 film (which I highly recommend if you haven’t watched it yet):  The Englishman Who Went Up A Hill and Climb Down A Mountain.
 Well, Hugh Grant and I went up on separate mountains; he up Garth Mountain, while I up Nam-san.  And while he had all the strength to climb his mountain on foot with his walking stick, I didn’t.  After two hours of tennis, my legs were wobbly to walk up Nam-san on this sunny, spring Sunday morning.
 He had to climb his mountain to measure it; I had to go up Nam-san to check on the blooms.
 On cool weekends, people would usually climb Nam-san on foot. While parents with babies, a few lazy tourists and one tired tennis player, take the Yellow Bus. Ha-ha-ha!
 After my tennis at the Jangchung Tennis Courts across the Seoul Club, I just walked a hundred meters to join the other tourists crowding the bus stop.
 And we were all lucky! The yellow bus that stopped for us was not the ordinary yellow bus, but Nam-san’s Electric Bus!
 The bus was packed!  And on our way up, I saw bikers, hikers and everyone else tracing the southern trail going up the mountain, stopping for photos and enjoying the blooms.
 It was just a short ride up, less than five minutes actually, if  we didn’t slow down to avoid sideswiping tourists and the tour buses parked along the already narrow road.
 And at the peak, it was an international party!  I could hear several languages spoken at the rest area and noticed different nationalities taking photos of the N-Seoul Tower right after alighting from their tour buses.
 And from there, the best part for me -- it was downhill all the way! Or should I say, down-mountain? Ha-ha-ha!
 Nam-san is 262 meters high, which is about 859 feet; while Hugh Grant’s Garth Mountain was only 984 feet on initial measurement, but eventually reached over 1,000 feet, the required height for a mountain in that movie. (As to how the mountain got taller overnight, you have to watch the movie. And that’s how the movie got its title, by the way).
 As for me, climbing Nam-san in a bus was a breeze, literally spring breeze. And climbing down was even more enjoyable.  Looking at the photos alone is not enough to duplicate the enjoyment.
 Hugh Grant’s going up a hill and climbing down a mountain may have turned into a movie, but my bus ride up and hike down Nam-san today turned into a photo album, a blog and an enjoyable day.

1 comment:

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